Armed with innovative thinking and keen curiosity, Gwendolyn Wright tackles intriguing mysteries about America’s history. As a scholar of the humanities—a historian of architecture at New York’s Columbia University—and one of the hosts of the popular PBS television series History Detectives, Wright enjoys showing the public how historians think, evaluate, and analyze. In some of the show’s recent episodes she has investigated whether US astronauts smuggled a microchip loaded with art by Andy Warhol to the moon, whether the plot to assassinate President Lincoln was hatched in a New York City boarding house, and how a six-dollar bill from 1776 reveals the Founding Fathers’ ideas about financial and political freedom. In this talk, she also reflects on her wide-ranging career, which commenced with a celebrated study of Chicago’s domestic architecture and the definitive social history of American housing. What secrets will she uncover at this year’s Festival?
This program is presented in partnership with the Society of Architectural Historians.